Kamila Pernerova and Pavel Perner

Kamila Pernerova and Pavel Perner

This is a picture of my cousins Kamila Pernerova (first from right) and Pavel Perner.

It was taken at the end of the 1920s but I don’t know where because they used to move houses a lot.

The eldest of the Schulz children was my mom's sister, aunt Anny Pernerova, who was born in 1897. Her husband was an engineer and also, of course, a Jew.

Aunt Anny was an extremely beautiful woman. They had two children, Pavel, who was born in 1923, and Kamila, born in 1926.

Kamila, who they also called Mimi and Mimuska, was the cousin I got on best with. Uncle Walter Perner was a manager at some production plant.

They used to move house a lot. In the end, they were living in Jihlava, which was probably the first Czech town that was supposed to become 'judenrein', which meant that all the Jews had to move away.

The Perners then came to Prague. I assume that my uncle worked for the Jewish community, because they stayed in Prague for a relatively long period of time.

In 1943 they were arrested after being informed on. Uncle Walter and Aunt Anny were sent to the Small Fortress and then to Auschwitz, where they perished in the same year.

In July 1943 Pavel and Kamila were put on a transport to Terezin and in October 1944 were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they both perished.

I can't imagine that either of these beautiful young people would not have got through the selection or have been rescued.

I think they must have been branded 'RU' - 'Rückkehr unerwünscht' [German for 'return undesirable'].

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